The Goalless Goal
Shaolin Training doesn't underestimate a person's strength of body and mind. The masters knew how much we could achieve and they wouldn't let us get away with anything less. The first goal young disciples have when they come to the Shaolin Temple is "Never Give Up." This means the thought of quitting is not a seed in our mind therefore it can never grow into a tree.
While holding this goal, we follow the philosophy of Zen, which is to train just to train. We're told the importance of aimlessness and letting go.
"The harder you try to grab something, the further away it goes," my master told me.
So how does aimlessness and the goal of Never Give Up sit comfortably together? Maybe the word goal should be changed to intention. "It's my intention to never give up." And once that statement is made then it's like sitting on a plane and knowing the destination is Beijing. We don't need to think anymore about where we're heading. Our mind is no longer caught up thinking maybe I should head to Chicago or London instead. There's no way we can get off the plane, so we let go and focus on the journey. The goalless goal is another way of simplifying our life.
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